A Perfect Combination? Growth Strategy Planning and Peer Advisory Councils for Portfolio Companies

Ask several of your colleagues about the definition of strategic growth planning and you will likely hear as many different answers. Is it an offsite event, a written document, an ongoing process? Obviously, it can be any of these, but in an ideal world, growth strategy does not have a starting point or an ending point – it should be continuously evolving, based on internal and external developments.

Combining growth strategy work with a mutually supportive peer advisory format is sensible for a number of reasons. First of all, let’s define the term: Peer Advisory Councils are a diverse, yet like-minded, group of executives who value learning and the exchange of ideas, information, wisdom, and solutions. Cross-pollination is an important component, so ensuring that members come from different industries, play different roles, and have different backgrounds is important. A monthly peer advisory discussion for your management team members makes sense; consider offering them the opportunity to form their own peer advisory council run by a professional moderator, as Strategic Growth Council offers. In a disciplined, dedicated, and intentional fashion, we ensure continuous member growth and development. More specifically, our groups serve as a mechanism to enable your management team members to solve problems and test hypotheses efficiently in a confidential, non-competitive environment. The result is a community of peers, who eventually become like family – a tribe of trusted confidantes.

We believe strongly in combining the shorter-term, transactional nature of strategic planning meetings with the long-term relationship-based intentionality, dedication, follow-through and team esprit de corps of the C-Level Executive Council concept.

The result of combining a long-term process with a short-term event is accountability, preventive maintenance, as well as proactive and reactive growth strategy decision making. A high impact, sustainable, ongoing process ensures alignment and achievement. Combining that process with an annual C-level event is beneficial both from a human capital standpoint and serves an obvious role in growth strategy planning.

However, facilitating strategic growth planning sessions with private equity portfolio company teams is not easy. Your Partners and Operating Partners are often task-saturated, and not entirely comfortable with or experienced in moderating/facilitating. Most third-party strategic planning facilitators do not understand private equity; we do. When all portfolio companies are experiencing the growth strategy process simultaneously (both in a group setting and in a one-on-one setting), they all become more committed and engaged. Consider working with an expert, a professional moderator who would work with your portfolio – both to ensure that growth strategy is an ongoing process and to lead a peer advisory council consisting of your portfolio company managers.

The result will be more satisfied management teams, that are making better growth decisions, needing less of your time, but ultimately, are more connected to one another and your organization as a whole. Your companies will grow more rapidly as a result. The most effective portfolio company event or experience, at least in terms of return on investment for management, may be the Peer Advisory Council concept.


“…In an ideal world, growth strategy does not have a starting point or an ending point – it should be continuously evolving, based on internal and external developments.


Strategic Growth Council helps you do what you do best — concentrate on running your fund – while offering your companies an ongoing and impactful experience with one goal — Growth. Private Equity Groups should offer peer advisory councils for their portfolio companies to complement strategic planning sessions. The benefits to your management teams, and for your fund, are substantial.

Strategic Growth Council (CEO Peer Groups – Strategic Growth Council) is intentional and focused, dedicated to solving business problems, and ideating on opportunities. We do this in two ways:

  1. Peer Advisory Councils
  2. Strategic Planning Facilitation

Strategic Growth Council is a LXCouncil Certified License Partner. To learn more, call 703.867.7269, text the same number or email kit@strategicgrowthcouncil.com.

Or schedule a meeting here:
Book Christopher “Kit” Lisle